Our public Pre-K in the Alpine School District includes two classes with 34 students of all types of lively personalities, About a third of our students were with us last school year and the other two-thirds are new to our program this year. Each child comes with strengths and challenges that they are bravely facing together. The greatest challenge overall has been the isolation and social-emotional issues stemming from the COVID pandemic.
Our fun-loving students enjoy working together to build, discover and play.
In addition to learning about numbers, letters, shapes and colors our students learn about being good friends and citizens. During our day we engage in play, as individuals and small groups of friends where we practice what we are learning academically, socially and emotionally.
Our youngest students need more opportunities than ever for social and emotional development. Most of our students have spent COVID socially distanced from peers with little interaction other than with family. The need for this year's students to have significant social play time in order to learn cooperative play and emotional regulation is well documented in Early Childhood Education. These needs are also included in the Utah State Standards for Early Learning in Health Education.
The resources requested have been thoughtfully chosen based on three main areas of social-emotional need among our Pre-K students: recognizing emotions, learning how to regulate emotions (emotion and sensory materials) and cooperative play.
Students will play together or individually to build and problem-solve using the building materials, magnetic board, kitchen and cash register and paint and clay materials. In order to regulate their emotions it is important students learn to identify and label how they feel. Several of the items that are requested are tools to teach students about feelings and what they look and feel like. Students also need tools to regulate their impulses and feelings. The sensory items will be used in a "calm down corner" where students will have a safe place to regain their composure and talk to an adult
The awareness and skills they learn now will serve them throughout their lives as they become healthy friends, family members and part of our community.
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